In Memory of





Obituary for Catherine M. LaFauci (Whelan)

Catherine Margaret (nee Whelan) LaFauci, affectionately known as “Cathy” passed away peacefully at her home in Waltham, Massachusetts on February 17, 2023. She was predeceased by her husband Santo “Sandy” LaFauci (d. 2016) and their son William F. “Billy” LaFauci (d. 2022).

Cathy was born in 1936 in Cambridge, Massachusetts to parents Matthew Joseph Whelan (d.1951) and Catherine Theresa (nee Roach) Whelan (d.1997) both of Irish descent who came to the United States from Nova Scotia, Canada. Moving to Somerville, Cathy helped welcome her siblings: Thomas J. Whelan, Matthew J. Whelan, Patricia (Whelan) Davis, Elizabeth Whelan, Robert J. Whelan, Richard J. Whelan, Patrick J. Whelan, Eileen (Whelan) Jackson, Mary Whelan, and baby brother Frances J. Whelan. Cathy adored her siblings. Her youngest brother Fran says Thomas and Patricia were her favorites. Fran didn’t mind because as the “baby” of the family he could always count on being spoiled by his big sister.

Cathy graduated from St. John’s in Cambridge and went on to obtain an advanced certificate at night while she helped care for her siblings during the day. She was versatile and able to work as an executive secretary in various industries including the legal field, the Thyssen-Krupp company in Cambridge, and the Woodland Country Club.

Cathy was a talented concert pianist who studied at the Boston Conservatory. When she married Sandy, the love of her life, they made their home in Prospect Hill, Somerville. Eventually building their home in Waltham, Sandy made sure it included a baby grand piano so she could play to her heart’s content.

Cathy was also an incredible cook. Proud of her Irish heritage she would go all out on St. Patrick’s Day and cook up a storm. Yet afterward she could be found at Friendly’s having a cup of coffee and a piece of toast. That was Cathy.

Cathy was always dressed to the nines. Sandy included a cedar room in their home which housed her collection of clothing, neatly hung in rows, protected and awaiting their next outing. When she downsized to move into assisted living she donated much of her wardrobe, including shoes in original boxes, to charity. She kept just enough of that fabulous wardrobe to always look like a million bucks even when she wasn’t feeling well.

Cathy had many happy years with her family and friends. She often spoke of days spent on Revere Beach, Marston Mills, and in Provincetown. She was good to all and the love and friendship she gave to others can be seen in the love and friendship she received in the later years of her life.

Cathy battled and beat cancer and lived with the loss of her father who was lost at sea, her dear mother Catherine, her brothers and sisters with the exception of her brother Fran, her beloved Sandy, and her only child Billy. She died peacefully at home looking forward to seeing her beloved family again. Cathy is survived by her beloved brother Fran (wife Lucy) and many nieces and nephews.

The next time you see someone wearing a little extra sparkle, please think of Cathy. We could all do with a little extra sparkle a la Cathy LaFauci.

A memorial service for Cathy and Billy will be held on Friday, March 24, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. in the Chapel at the Newton Cemetery, 791 Walnut Street, Newton.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Good Shepherd Community Hospice, 160 Wells Avenue, Newton, MA 02459 or Work Community Independence, Inc., Attn: Jamie Cooper, 610 Lincoln Street, Suite 120, Waltham, MA 02451.